QUINCY, Ill.—Titan International Inc. is extending its reach again, this time into the non-tire sector with the creation of a specialty products division that will produce rubber goods aimed primarily at the agricultural market.
Its newest operation will be based in Union City, Tenn., at the former Goodyear tire plant, which Titan purchased in 2011. The division initially will primarily manufacture a range of rubber mats for beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine and horse stalls, Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor said.
They are designed to withstand the rigorous wear and tear of large herds, while also providing optimum comfort and durability, the company said.
“They found that if you put rubber mats down, cows will gain more milk ... and the meat comes out better,” according to Taylor. “Those who use them for a couple of months will make their money (invested in the mats) back.”
He said the unit will make mud flaps for dump trucks, although it isn't planning to come out with its brand of flaps. “If companies want unique mud flaps, we'll make them,” according to Taylor. Additional products could be added to the division's portfolio down the line, he indicated.
Titan's Union City plant spans about 56 acres under roof and handles mixing, warehousing, mounting and calendaring, he said, so it had plenty of space available for the new operation.
About a half dozen curing machines have been added at the factory, Taylor said, but he did not anticipate more personnel would be needed at this time.
Titan launched the specialty products division because it saw a need for longer lasting agricultural mats “that keep producers' most important asset in mind—their livestock,” said Jeff Kramer, Titan's vice president of business development.
He said competitive agricultural mats “rely on recycled or scrap rubber, which significantly impairs softness and the total quality of the product. Our American-made mats are made of a fully moisture resistant vulcanized natural/synthetic rubber blend, helping reduce hoof and joint issues caused by hard surfaces.”
Titan's slat mats feature a patent pending interlocking edge lug design, providing secure, stable locking with an aggressive double bottom tread pattern for superior traction and comfort, the Quincy-headquartered firm said. Customers can choose from multiple thickness options and tread designs, it said, and custom options are available upon request.
Taylor said the specialty products division will be part of subsidiary Titan Tire Corp., “which produces everything from tires to wheels to mats.” Like most of the company's products, the mats will be sold by distributors.
Titan will manufacture the mats by reclaiming rubber scrap from tires produced at its plant in Bryan, Ohio. The reclamation process takes place at a portable reclamation center within the Union City plant, he said.
“We end up with zero waste from our tires going to landfills,” Taylor said. “The reclamation business is different than everything else we do.”